Franklin County Poorhouse
the Poorhouse Story

Here is a picture of the Franklin County, NY poorhouse that I took a couple of years ago. Bill Russell, Theresa, NY, 

click here to see another photo

the Poorhouse Story

The notes below have been abstracted from the following reports.
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the Poorhouse Story
ANNUAL REPORT of the STATE BOARD of CHARITIES                                         p 989
A TABLE showing the number of Paupers supported at the public expense in the county of MONTGOMERY, [including Hamilton county, which  is not organized,] during the twelve months preceding April 21, 1823, with other particulars, derived from public documents and reports furnished the Secretary of State.
TOWNS Total number of paupers
supported during the
whole of the last year.
Total number relieved
during a part of the last year.
Total expenses of supporting and relieving paupers (including fees and expenses of officers, removals and appeals) for the last year.

Dolls.    Cts.

Expenses and cost of officers and appeals during same period.


Dolls.   Cts.

Number of paupers removed during the last year.
Bangor  0 0 0 0 0 0.00 0.00  
Chateaugay Not stated. Not stated.       $ 37.65 Not stated.  
Constable 1 3 1 2 0 145.46 $ 12.50 2
Dickenson 0 3 0 3 2 436.00 350.00 1
Fort Covington 1 1 1 1 0 213.48 30.50  
 Malone 1 5 2 4 0 207.92   ...
  In the town of Chateaugay there is on hand a fund of $81.50, for the support of the poor. 
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1824 LAW (required establishment of poorhouse vs. exempted): exempted
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This house is located about two miles from the village of Malone. The building is of wood, poorly constructed, and illy fitted for its present uses. It was originally a farm house, and in size 80 x 24 feet, two stories high.

There is attached a farm of 110 acres, yielding a revenue of $1,500.

The basements of the building are occupied for domestic purposes only. In the house are eighteen rooms or wards, well warmed by stoves, but without ventilation. From one to eight paupers are placed in a single room.

The number of inmates was thirty-eight, fifteen males and twenty-three females. Of these twenty-eight are foreign, ten native born; nine are under sixteen years of age. The sexes are separated at night, but mingle together during the day. The average number of inmates is forty-eight, supported at an expense of thirty-one cents per week each, exclusive of the products of the farm. The paupers are employed, the men on the farm, the women about the house. It has been visited once during the year by the board of supervisors. They regulate the government of the house and the system of diet. The food of the paupers is of a plain and wholesome quality. The house is supplied with Bibles, but there is no regular religious instruction. A teacher of the common English branches was employed in the house for three months during last winter, but the children usually attend the district school.

A physician is employed by the year at $28, and comes only when called. There are no facilities for bathing. One birth and two deaths have occurred during the last year. No contagious diseases have raged.

Of the inmates seven are lunatics, three males and four females, all paupers, none are reported improved or cured. But one is constantly confined, and he in a cell. They are restrained by confinement, and sometimes handcuffs, shackles, and the straight jacket are used. Two have been admitted within the year. They receive no medical or other attendance, nor does the house permit classification. The superintendents usually discharge the insane; sometimes the power is exercised by the keeper. Two of the paupers are blind, four idiots--two male, two female.

The keeper reports nine-tenths of the paupers as here by reason of intemperance and its effects.

There is here a poor cripple, almost idiotic, whose limbs are drawn up and under him in strange contortions, and his tongue paralyzed by the disease. He can wear no garments but a loose shirt.

The unnatural parents were committed to prison, and the child sent to this house.

The hospital department of the house is wretched, and the nursing and medical attendance inadequate. The general appearance of the establishment however is good, and the rooms are particularly neat and clean.

Transcribed by PHS-Volunteer, Cheramie Breaux in Louisiana
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Old County Home partially collapses

By DENISE A. RAYMO Staff Writer

MALONE The front portion of the historic building known as the Old County Home just outside the Village of Malone collapsed earlier this week.

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"There is an article in the December 2000 issue of Adirondack Life magazine called, "Hard Times Come Again No More." It mentions several of the poorhouses in and around Warren and Essex County. There are pictures of ones in ESSEX County, WARREN County, and FRANKLIN County in the article."
     Kathy Campbell 

This magazine's website has been redone, and the excerpt from this article is no longer available.   There was a great anecdote about a colorful "local character" (complete with old photo of him in his old Adirondack woodsman dress) who sadly wound up in the Warren County Poorhouse                                PHL

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Microfilm Series A1978  Roll Number(s) 35-36
  more information
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We are hoping to build this base of information about the poorhouse in FRANKLIN county through the helpful participation of readers. All are requested to submit items of interest by sending  e-mail  to The Poorhouse Lady.

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